Over the next several years, OCLC’s cataloging, discovery and interlibrary loan services will undergo significant changes that will make them more compelling and designed for a Webscale future. OCLC will move these services to a more robust, flexible and integrated platform. These changes will better accommodate the future needs of member libraries and their users.
The OCLC services that support cataloging, discovery and interlibrary loan operations already work together for libraries that use two or more of these services. For example, the OCLC FirstSearch interface supports searching for WorldCat Resource Sharing users. The emerging Webscale environment will increase this integration—and provide exciting opportunities to make OCLC services more powerful.
“The WorldShare Metadata collection management service is a step forward because we can now use the records in the WorldCat database to provide access to our electronic collections in a way that incorporates access changes quickly and easily.”
With help from member task forces and testing groups, OCLC is undertaking this work to create new efficiencies for libraries and introduce compelling search and discovery environments for library users.
On the cataloging front, the move to Webscale is already happening with OCLC WorldShare Metadata. In August 2012, OCLC introduced initial WorldShare Metadata collection management functionality that enables output of collections of customized MARC records from dynamically changing WorldCat knowledge base collections.
WorldShare Metadata collection management automatically delivers WorldCat MARC records for collections of electronic materials, and continually updates the metadata and access URLs for these materials. This improves user access, gives staff time for other priorities and enhances collection investments.
“The WorldShare Metadata collection management service is a step forward because we can now use the records in the WorldCat database to provide access to our electronic collections in a way that incorporates access changes quickly and easily,” said Sarah Haight Sanabria, Electronic Resources Cataloger, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University, who participated in the beta test.
During the next few years, OCLC will expand WorldShare Metadata with new record management features that will complement the collection management functions. These new functions will provide catalogers with tools to more efficiently describe one-of-a-kind items, including electronic, digital and physical materials. New record management functionality will be used to create new WorldCat records and enrich existing records.
OCLC will also release new Web services for developers in the cataloging community. These services will provide support for adding new WorldCat master records and enriching those that already exist, WorldCat holdings maintenance, and customized local bibliographic data and local holdings records.
Library users need a unified and contemporary search experience that lets them see what’s most meaningful to them.
This will provide complete metadata management for physical, licensed and digital resources across multiple formats. In addition, the expanding cataloging functionality—to be available to all OCLC cataloging subscribers—will be integrated with OCLC WorldShare Management Services components, including acquisitions and circulation. And because it is being built on the WorldShare Platform, this functionality will work well with traditional integrated library systems, too.
Library users need a unified and contemporary search experience that lets them see what’s most meaningful to them. And library staff need expert search capabilities and expanded record views. With the help of a member advisory group, research and testing is under way at OCLC in order to meet these goals within one discovery experience. This new service will combine the reach of WorldCat.org and its user-friendly interface with the precision features of FirstSearch.
The new discovery service will replace the current FirstSearch service while providing expert functionality to current users of WorldCat.org and WorldCat Local. Active ‘unlimited’ subscriptions to the current FirstSearch service will automatically transfer to the new discovery service.
The advisory group review will continue through late 2012 with beta testing slated to begin in February 2013. OCLC will provide details on minor tasks that libraries will need to complete (e.g., obtaining new log-in credentials) when the new service becomes available in mid-2013.
The new OCLC WorldShare Interlibrary Loan service is rolling out in an 18-month phased migration that began in July with targeted library groups. Most WorldCat Resource Sharing users can begin to use the new service in March 2013. Libraries with user-initiated interlibrary loan can begin to migrate in July 2013 when the new discovery interface becomes available. Non-U.S. libraries can migrate in the June–September 2013 timeframe. WorldCat Resource Sharing users will have until the end of December 2013 to move to WorldShare Interlibrary Loan—this is when access to WorldCat Resource sharing will end.
WorldShare Interlibrary Loan will replace the WorldCat Resource Sharing service as part of existing OCLC resource sharing subscriptions. OCLC will provide comprehensive training resources to help library staff with transitioning interlibrary loan work to the new service.
“WorldShare Interlibrary Loan will present many new features that will facilitate the processing of requests, resulting in more efficient use of staff time and improved customer service.”
WorldShare Interlibrary Loan will transform traditional interlibrary loan into a broader fulfillment service that supports evolving workflow changes such as purchasing needed items instead of borrowing them. This will position traditional interlibrary loan as one of many options a library may choose according to library policies and user needs.
“As a member of the beta test team for WorldShare Interlibrary Loan, I felt it was important to be a part of the advisory committee to ensure the work we did and the vision we have for this new ILL platform will be carried forward,” said Franca Rosen, Head, Interlibrary Loan Services, Jefferson County Public Library, Lakewood, Colorado. “WorldShare Interlibrary Loan will present many new features that will facilitate the processing of requests, resulting in more efficient use of staff time and improved customer service.”
OCLC’s WorldShare vision moves libraries forward into even greater collaboration and cooperation. These upcoming service enhancements for cataloging, discovery and interlibrary loan are key to that future. You and your staff may be asked for feedback on new functionality and workflows, so stay tuned. This exciting Webscale future will make information access easier than ever.
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